CATCH THE BUZZ – Thou Shalt Not Adopt Or Continue In Effect Any Ordinance, Rule, Regulation, Or Resolution Prohibiting The Establishment Or Maintenance Of Beekeeping On Property That The Person Owns, Rents, Or Leases.

By: Alan Harman

Indiana has passed a law blocking county, city, town, or township officials from prohibiting beekeeping on property that the person owns, rents, or leases.

But the state General Assembly approved earlier this month allows local governments to adopt ordinances that regulate certain aspects of beekeeping, including the number of active bee hives a person may operate and the location of bee hives on the property.

The Beekeepers of Indiana [TBOI) vice present John Schellenberger says beekeepers in Indiana had been facing pressure from local governments, specifically those in the Indianapolis area.

“There were some municipalities that were trying to ban beekeeping,” he told the News and Tribune newspaper.

“TBOI is not against municipalities placing reasonable restrictions but banning can’t happen. We all need honey bees. One third of the food we eat comes from what the honey bees pollinate. We formed an ad-hoc committee, and we did some research on what other states had done.”

Schellenberger contacted Rep. Ed Clere, R-New Albany, and Sen. Ron Grooms, R-Jeffersonville. The resulting legislation was Senate Bill 529.

Clere says it provides that a county, city, town, or township may not adopt or continue in effect any ordinance, rule, regulation, or resolution prohibiting the establishment or maintenance of beekeeping on property that the person owns, rents, or leases.

But is allows local governments to adopt ordinances that regulate certain aspects of beekeeping. Including the number of active bee hives a person may operate and the location of bee hives on the property.

“It basically says that the entities can put in restrictions as far as the number of hives per square footage and the placement of the hives,” Schellenberger says.

“Any beekeeper who is a concerned beekeeper, we understand those types of restrictions. All we’re asking is that they not prohibit hives.”

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This month’s BEETALK, of course weather permitting, will be outside looking at the Root Company’s bees. We’ll look inside, check out the recent packages, and look at the new styrofoam hive just installed. Bees are right next to the Root Homestead, next to the regular meeting room. Bring a veil, questions and more questions. If it rains or is cold, we’ll be inside, with questions about packages, spring honey flows, missing queens, raising nucs, adding supers, feeding, and anything else you can bring to the group. Tuesday, May 21, 6:30 PM, Bee Culture’s Conference Center, 623 W. Liberty St., Medina. Bee There. Questions, email Kim at kim@beeculture.com.